More than 1 billion active users worldwide and around 95 million photos and videos shared daily. Are we going crazy? No, we're just discussing how the Instagram community keeps growing. Businesses should consider tapping into this large user base to promote their products or services.

Here are some tips on how to maximise the use of this social network and make Instagram an integral part of your communication strategy.

1 – Define the role of Instagram in your communication plan

Before thinking about any operational task, it's necessary to consider how you envision Instagram contributing to your communication goals and which specific role you intend to assign to this platform.

As we said " Technology is useless if you don't have a digital strategy" , investing in channels and tools without a clearly outlined plan might not produce the intended results.

Ask yourself if Instagram aligns with your defined goal and is suitable for promoting your business. When deciding on your target audience, keep in mind the age group you aim to attract. Instagram is widely favoured by individuals aged 18 to 29, a demographic that nearly tripled from 2013 to 2015, as per research data in terms of active users. Take time to research industry-specific data: Are there similar brands on Instagram? How successful are they? Sectors like fashion, food, and automotive often attract attention and engagement.

You can find statistical data on the use of Instagram by companies on the We Are Social blog (a company specialising in social listening and analytics): Instagram statistics: numbers, personal data and curiosities (2024)

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Digital Report 2024, Meltwater and We Are Social

2 – Take care of your profile

The first impression matters the most. There are only a few settings you can change on Instagram, along with the information users see when they Land on your profile. For instant recognition, opt for the company name and a visually recognizable element like the logo instead of seeking creative solutions for nicknames and images.

In your Bio, it's crucial to maximise the limited space (150 characters) to showcase your values and include a compelling call-to-action that engages your visitors right away.

Remember the hashtags.
By incorporating them into the description, you provide users with guidance on how to engage with you effectively. Additionally, consider using imaginative tags that reflect your brand identity and core values. Lastly, include a link to your website or a specific page where you want your followers to land.

3 – Create a content strategy, schedule your activities, and engage with your audience.

Content Strategy

After outlining your goals and setting up your profile, the next step is to determine what content to share in order to reach your goals. Are you interested in using Instagram to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your website? In order to achieve this, you will require a content strategy that outlines the guidelines for posting on social media platforms.

You will have to ask yourself which aspects of the brand you want to promote:: whether it be the products, services, organisational culture, particular activities, or events. By making these selections, it is essential to understand which content types would best convey and elucidate those particular facets of the company.

You have the option to share photos, graphics, or videos, and consider switching between them to diversify your content. It's also suggested to establish a range of formats to effectively connect with your followers. Some of the commonly used post types include: product images inserted in creative contexts, quotes, motivational phrases, glimpses of the company's "behind the scenes," event snapshots, contests, and brand-related puzzles.

The key factor is ensuring that all content shared adheres to high-quality standards, especially on Instagram where aesthetics play a crucial role. Before deciding on the content to publish, it is crucial to assess the competency of your organisation's social media team and the time that can be dedicated to these activities.

The filters on Instagram can be valuable, particularly when utilised to reflect the identity and values of the company through photos. Experiment with warm and cool tones, explore vintage effects, or use filters to enhance a less vibrant image.

We recommend creating a style guide for images, captions, and hashtags to ensure that all content shared adheres to set standards. This will maintain consistency in communication across the social network.

Don't forget the hashtags. Search for the trending hashtags related to your topic, select the most relevant ones for your post, and create a distinct tag for your content categories. For fresh ideas, consider using apps or observe the hashtags used by industry influencers.

When describing an image's subject for events or businesses located in specific areas, remember to tag the geographic location (such as the city or event venue).

The editorial calendar and real time marketing

Once you have decided on the content and formats to be used, it's essential to schedule regular planning for your publications. specify the frequency of posts per week, the corresponding days for posting, and the types of content to be shared on each day. For instance, consider sharing a photo of the company's employees at work or during a break on Monday, post an image related to a product or service on Wednesday, and on Friday, share something creative that tells a piece of the company's story, maybe in instalments.

During company events or industry-related occasions, prompt your social media managers to swiftly and consistently share updates. Encourage them to create a themed hashtag, and post photos that capture the essence of the event.

Engagement and user generated content

One of the primary reasons for promoting your brand on Instagram is the platform's capability to engage users.

Reliable sources indicate that the engagement rate on this social platform surpasses that of LinkedIn and Twitter. This factor will be crucial in shaping your strategy.

One aspect of Illy Caffè's editorial strategy involves sharing photos featuring a cup of coffee in various locations worldwide. The brand uses brief captions to describe the setting, and occasionally prompts followers to engage by guessing where the scene is taking place or where they would like to be at that moment.

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Each image and caption creates reassuring and captivating atmospheres, inviting followers to join in. A straightforward call-to-action and you're done.

Engaging your followers by evoking emotions, narrating the brand's story creatively, unveiling the company's backstory, and making users feel part of a large community are excellent ways to follow.

Let's now analyse the case of Boozt.
By partnering with Reebok, the brand is leveraging the reputation and popularity of another well-known brand to attract attention and interest from their audience.

The post provides clear and concise instructions on how to enter the giveaway, including liking the post, following the brand's Instagram account, saving recent posts, and commenting on the post. Clear instructions make it easy for followers to participate and minimise confusion.

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Encourage users to engage in your games and interact with the page effortlessly. They'll be the first to share content that adds value to your brand.

Moreover, running contests and spontaneous promotions will help boost profile engagement and drive traffic to your website and other company channels.

Instagram ads

To enhance the company's presence on Instagram, one effective strategy is to utilise advertising. These ads can be conveniently created and managed through the Facebook Business Suite, allowing simultaneous ad placement on both social platforms while enabling real-time monitoring of campaign performance.

You can choose to use photos, videos, or a carousel (a series of images displayed in sequence) for your advertisement. Additionally, you have the option to customise your ad according to your specific goal, whether it's to drive clicks or site conversions, boost app installations, or enhance engagement.

To find out more on this topic you can visit the Instagram page dedicated to advertising.

Instagram users are usually not used to seeing ads. Hence, it is advisable to steer clear of overly explicit and direct promotional material in your posts.

Keep in mind that Instagrammers are not used to viewing advertisements, therefore we advise you against insisting on posts that are too explicit and direct.

Brand_Instagram_Report_Digital_2024

4 – Community and influencers

Multiple regional and local user communities have emerged on Instagram, presenting an excellent opportunity for companies to suggest partnerships and collaborations. The goal is to collaborate on creative projects together.

Simultaneously, you can connect with successful users on social media who have amassed a large following by promoting themselves. Identify individuals who cover topics relevant to your industry and the products you offer, and suggest a collaboration. Partnering with a popular influencer will help your brand capture the interest of fresh users and establish credibility more effortlessly.

At the same time, it is possible to get in touch with users who have achieved particular success through the social network by marketing themselves and acquiring thousands of followers. Look for the personalities who are closest in terms of the topics addressed to your sector and the products offered by the company and propose a collaboration to them. With a well-known influencer at your side, the brand will be able to attract the attention of new users and gain their trust more easily.

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